Note: Rates listed below are for farmers who signed up for the program by January 1, 2011. Information regarding future funding opportunities will be posted here when it becomes available.
The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) is now offering incentives to livestock farmers in the form of assistance with loans for energy efficiency. The "Missouri Agricultural Energy Saving Team - a Revolutionary Opportunity," or MAESTRO, offers assistance in the form of Interest Buy Downs, Cash Down Payments, a Loan Loss Reserve, and Audit Rebates.
Implementation Grant: MASBDA will provide up to $12,000 of cost-share, not to exceed 75% of the total retrofit project. A farmer can use up to $3,000 of that amount for home upgrades. Installed retrofits must result in at least 15% energy savings.
Interest Buy Down: MASBDA will pay for a portion of the interest due on loans for energy efficiency technologies. The loan interest rate will be reduced to 3%. The lender receives the difference in interest payments in one lump sum. For example, if the loan was $25,000 at a 6.5% interest rate for 5 years, with monthly payments, the interest would have been $4,349.26. The same loan at 3% interest would be $1,953.02 in interest. Therefore, the lender would receive a payment of $2,386.24 ($4,349.26-$1,953.02).
Cash Down Payment: Farmers can also choose a Cash Down Payment. The payment is calculated as above, but instead of the lender receiving the payment, the farmer receives the payment. If the farmer chooses this option, the loan interest rate remains the same instead of decreasing to 3%.
Loan Loss Reserve: MASBDA has established a dedicated fund for the purpose of guaranteeing payments on defaulted loans. When farmers apply for a loan from a lender, the farmer and lender submit an application to the MASBDA for the Loan Loss Reserve. If approved, the program guarantees to the lender that if the farmer defaults on the loan, MASBDA will pay up to 75% of the loan.
Audit Rebates: MASBDA is offering rebates of up to $125 for a farm audit and $125 for a home audit. Farmers can only qualify for the rebate if one or more of the audit recommendations are implemented and the energy savings realized are at least 15%.
To begin the application process for one of the above options, interested livestock farmers must first sign up for a comprehensive farm audit. The audit will identify efficiency technologies that should be installed at the farm or farm house. Only these technologies are eligible for the Interest Buy Down, Cash Down Payment, or Loan Loss Reserve programs. To participate in the program, interested farmers should contact EnSave at 1-800-732-1399 to set up an initial assessment.
In order to qualify for the MAESTRO program, applicants must be legal Missouri residents that operate animal agricultural farmers. Loans must be from a state or national bank, farm credit system, bank for cooperatives, federal or state chartered savings and loan association, federal or state building and loan association or a small business investment company. All energy efficiency technology must be installed and operational by November 30, 2012.
This program is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Program. The DOE has awarded over $500 million in federal funds to more than 40 states, local governments, and organizations to administer local programs targeting a variety of building types. Combined, these local programs are expected to improve the efficiency of more than 170,000 buildings through 2013 and save up to $65 million in energy costs annually.